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U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation

Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation

Since 2002, a total of 8 cultural preservation projects in PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have been funded through AFCP.

Projects involved the preservation of traditional knowledge; documentation of architectural heritage; and archaeological collection

The largest project funded under AFCP was awarded to a project collaboration between Ailan Awareness and Barnard College in New York, worth $64,000 for the preservation of the Malangnan Carvings in New Ireland Province.

This was a 4-year project which ended in 2018.

The 2nd largest was awarded to Pacific Traditions Society, a Hawaiian organization based in Honiara; worth $59, 764.00 for the preservation of the art of Vakaa’ (large canoe) traditional knowledge and ancient crafts.

Public Affairs releases an annual call for concept notes each fall.

AFCP Program Objectives: The Department of State established the AFCP in 2000 at the request of Congress (Conference Report 106-1005 accompanying H.R. 4942). At the time, the Senate noted that the preservation of cultural heritage “offers an opportunity to show a different American face to other countries, one that is non-commercial, non-political, and non-military.” The projects recommended for funding advance U.S. foreign policy goals and show respect for other cultures. Cultural preservation is effective public diplomacy that resonates deeply with opinion leaders and local communities, even in countries where ties may be otherwise limited. AFCP projects strengthen civil society, encourage good governance, and promote political and economic stability around the world.

Funding Areas: The AFCP Grants Program supports the preservation of archaeological sites, historic buildings and monuments, museum collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression, such as indigenous languages and crafts. Appropriate project activities may include:

  1. Anastylosis (reassembling a site from its original parts)
  2. Conservation (addressing damage or deterioration to an object or site)
  3. Consolidation (connecting or reconnecting elements of an object or site)
  4. Documentation (recording in analog or digital format the condition and salient features of an object, site, or tradition)
  5. Inventory (listing of objects, sites, or traditions by location, feature, age, or other unifying characteristic or state)
  6. Preventive Conservation (addressing conditions that threaten or damage a site, object, collection, or tradition)
  7. Restoration (replacing missing elements to recreate the original appearance of an object or site, usually appropriate only with fine arts, decorative arts, and historic buildings)
  8. Stabilization (reducing the physical disturbance of an object or site).

Sites and Objects Having a Religious Connection: The establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution permits the government to include religious objects and sites within an aid program under certain conditions. For example, an item with a religious connection (including a place of worship) may be the subject of a cultural preservation grant if the item derives its primary significance and is nominated solely on the basis of architectural, artistic, historical, or other cultural (not religious) criteria. ECA encourages embassies considering preservation projects with a religious connection to contact the AFCP Program Director.

Eligible Project Implementers: The Center defines eligible project implementers as reputable and accountable non-commercial entities that can demonstrate they have the requisite capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage. Eligible implementers may include non-governmental organizations, museums, educational institutions, ministries of culture, or similar institutions and organizations, including U.S.-based educational institutions and organizations subject to Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. The AFCP will not award grants to individuals, commercial entities, or past award recipients that have not fulfilled the objectives or reporting requirements of previous awards.

Potential implementers must have a unique entity identifier, such as a DUNS number, and be registered and active in SAM.gov to receive U.S. federal assistance. If an embassy’s project idea is advanced to Round 2 and the anticipated implementer is not registered in SAM.gov, the embassy should initiate the registration process immediately so it is in place in the event the project is ultimately selected for an award.

  • Floor on amount of Individual Awards: US $10,000 per project
  • Ceiling on amount of Individual Awards: $500,000 per project

To submit, please refer to the ‘Concept Note template’ in the additional resources section.

AFCP is closed for submissions.